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Old Jun 18, 2006, 9:39 PM   #1
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Hi, please advice me on what digital camera to buy, the specs I want are:

1. preferably DSLR or if it would be too expensive I'll settle for a digital camera that looks like a DSLR.

2. atleast 5MP

3.has manual focus ring

4. atleast 3x optical zoom

5. DSLR look (body) Black

6. Image Stabilizer if possible (price wise)

7. willing to spend $500 max (including lens)

8. Brand New

Im interestedon the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 / FZ30 (is this a DSLR?)

But I really want to buy a Canon or Sony or Nikon, but the prices of these brands are high for me, is there a canon or sony priced around $500 with the specs i want/ counterpart of Panasonic's DMC-FZ20 specs and price wise?



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Old Jun 18, 2006, 10:35 PM   #2
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in your position, $500, youd be better of getting the fz30. and no its not a dlsr, it slr-like, and has manual focus, but with a $500 budget you will not get any thing new for that small of a budget... so id say go with the panny fz30... nice zoom, IS, looks nice,good value, and i have heard great things about them.

best of luck

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Old Jun 19, 2006, 12:26 AM   #3
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Log wrote:
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in your position, $500, youd be better of getting the fz30. and no its not a dlsr, it slr-like, and has manual focus, but with a $500 budget you will not get any thing new for that small of a budget... so id say go with the panny fz30... nice zoom, IS, looks nice,good value, and i have heard great things about them.

best of luck

Logan
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thanks logan. lumix fz30 really seems the best buy, full packed features specially the manual focus+zoom ring. btw whats the canon,sony and nikon counterpart of the panasonic lumix fz30?which has pretty much the same specs.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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thanks logan. lumix fz30 really seems the best buy, full packed features specially the manual focus+zoom ring. btw whats the canon,sony and nikon counterpart of the panasonic lumix fz30?which has pretty much the same specs.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:36 AM   #5
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So what kind photos you would need to take/in what conditions?
Especially important thing is if there's requirement for good wide angle.

Forget "super"zooms of Canon, those don't even have manual zoom, same goes for Nikons and Sony's H-serie.

Also if some shop still has KonicaMinolta A200 that should be on higher top end of list.

Also Kodak P880 has manual zoom and "fly by wire" focus ring, it doesn't have stabilization but wide angle is very wide.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:00 PM   #6
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Panasonic makes some very good cameras. The higher end models use Leica lenses which are excellent. In the resolution tests on the FZ30, dpreview said:
"The FZ30 sets new standards for resolution in this class of camera, with clean, moiré-free results that pretty much go off the end of the chart. And the best news is you can eek even more resolution out of the lens/sensor combination by shooting RAW (as long as you've got a copy of Photoshop or Elements and the latest ACR plug-in) - see the next page for details."

This is their chart for several cameras in the class:


The lower numbers for the FZ20 reflect the lower 5Mp resolution.

One downside of the FZ30 is that it is pretty noisy if you crank up the ISO. That is pretty much the same with all stabilized super zooms compared to a DSLR. With its higher pixel density the FZ30 is a little noisier than its lower resolution counterparts. The FZ30 is also a very large camera. But if you want manual zoom and a focus ring in a stabilized super zoom it is about the only thing available.

It also has a hot shoe which most of the competition lacks. You can really improve your flash photography with an inexpensive bounce flash unit. And it is one of the few non-DSLRs on the market that record raw images fast enough to make it a practical option. Panasonic doesn't give you very good software for converting the raw images though.

To the best of my knowledge, all non-DSLR cameras with a focus ring are "fly by wire" as E.T. calls it. Zoom rings like the one on the FZ30 are actually a manual control, but the focus rings are electronic.

I agree that wide angle is often more useful for general photography than a long zoom unless you do a lot of nature photography.


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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:49 PM   #7
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thanks for the advices... now Im confused which to buy between panny FZ30 and KonicaMinolta A200.:?Im just gonna use it as a family camera plus some hobby photography... If youre in my position what would you prefer? Im sorry but I really am in a confused state when it comes to " a little bit complicated " Digicams, If its just a point and shoot simple digicam then Ill just compare the MP, zoom, quality etc. but these A200 and FZ30 are more complicated.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"And Thanks, Im now decided not to include in my choices the more expensive brands like canon and sony, I also see that the sony canon rivals of fz30 arent that "full packed" when it comes to specs. Is it correct?
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:58 PM   #8
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I owned an FZ30 for a month (my Sony F717 sadly died). Just my opinion - it's the nicest non-dSLR ultrazoom out there. However, I sold mine a month after I bought it - the photo quality wasn't quite as good as my old Sony. The only non-dSLR that was on the market that I thought would give me better pictures was the A200. I was expecting the IS to make more of a difference than it does, and the dynamic range the camera is capable of capturingisn't what I wanted. The noise problems with the FZ30 are there, but I thought they were over-rated. At 100 ISO and decent light/exposure, there's very little noise. At higher ISO you can use one of the noise-reduction programs out there.

Today you could buy a Pentax DL on buydig for $477, and that includes the kit lens. It's a dSLR and the photos are MUCH better than the FZ30. It does not have IS, but I haven't had any problems with camera shake. The kit lens is quite nice, pretty wide, but at 55mm, you might want something longer (depends on what you want to take). You can always buy older, used lensesbecause Pentax is backwards compatible with any Pentax lens ever made (definitely can save you some money!).

Just me, but I chose the Pentax over the FZ30. If I didn't want a dSLR then I would look closely at both the FZ20 and the FZ30. If you do decide to get the FZ30, check out the several noise-reducing programs out there - you'll probably need one if you shoot in low light.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 3:22 PM   #9
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Keep in mind that it is kind of hard to manually focus without an optical viewfinder (like DSLR).¬* I wanted an FZ30 for a while but settled for the pentax *ist dl... which I am very happy about.¬* If you want non-DSLR I would go for the Panasonic FZ30.¬* I think this is better than the FZ20 because of the advantage of the manual zoom ring which gives better zoom control.¬*¬*
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 12:30 AM   #10
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thanks mtgal and travis for the info about pentax ist dl.... I really want a dSLR. I didnt know theres a dSLR that will fit my budget.Are there any more choices?:-)As of now Im for the Pentax *ist DL.:GBTW is it the latest dSLR of pentax?
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